Creative fun in
the palm of your hand.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/notebook/phil_ide
Please follow an ASR rating.*
Over the last few months, I have been building a laptop out of a Raspberry Pi and a pizza box, so that I can be a bit more mobile while working on my novels and source code. I set myself some challenges:

1. It must all fit in a pizza box
2. Apart from the Raspberry Pi and the power management module, every component must cost less than £35
3. It must run continuously on batteries for 30 hrs.

The project took several months as I slowly purchased the components I needed, but I eventually got it all working. It even has a 20w sound bar inside so I can play music loud enough to annoy everyone around me. I took the decision to upgrade the pizza box to an aluminium briefcase (like one of those cases for cameras and their components), because the weight of the components was causing the pizza box to lose shape. Not being able to hold shape makes it in danger of spilling the contents.

I even added "syncThing" to the laptop, my desktop and a server on my home network. This is like dropBox or OneDrive, but instead of using a cloud service, it uses my home network - where I have effectively unlimited disk space.

Ironically, I rarely leave my home for anything other than exercise and shopping, thanks to the global pandemic. It does give me the freedom to write on my sofa though.
I’m confused. Are you actually using a pizza box? But... why? Other then the obvious that it sounds cool.
Yes, it was an actual 10" pizza box donated by my local pizza bar on the condition I show them the finished product - because I thought it would be cool (and slightly nerdy). The screen I used was a 10.1" I bought from eBay. It was just the guts, so to speak, without a case, and wasn't a touch-screen. It cost me £31. The OS was 'Raspberry Pi OS' installed on a 25Gb SSD, with the boot sector on the SD card. This allows me to switch out the SD card and replace it with RetroPie for fun with friends.

Battery life is indeed 30hrs. I found the screen and the Pi had to be powered separately. I leveraged my old vaping machine battery, and then bought some batteries I daisy-chained to it. For the Pi itself, it has a power-management module (PMM) with a 12,000mAh battery (good for about 8hrs), and daisy-chained more batteries to the power-inlet on the PMM (not a good idea to plug them directly into the Pi). Some of the batteries have solar recharge capabilities.
Oops. I meant 250Gb SSD!
hi zen,
this is anne, i haven’t been able to understand how to open these replies & other things. i see you responded to my email.
can you send your response in actual email or somewhere i can read it?
thank you!
*Confettir* *Balloong* *Confettib* *Cake2* HAPPY 8TH WDC ANNIVERSARY, ZEN! *Cakep* *Confettio* *Balloonr* *Confettiv*
Thanks, Angus!
Hey, Phil!
Happy 8th WDC Anniversary! *Balloon*
Thank you Carol, much appreciated!
Happy 8th WDC Anniversary!

Thank you, River! *Hug1**hug**Hug2* (I totally forgot today was my anniversary)
Added an article on how performing some research made me change my mind
Hi, Zen! I just read your Description or Teaser? article from my Newsfeed, so there should be a review waiting in your email. I noticed that you're prior military and, as I'm retired U.S. Army, I wondered if you ever served in the BAOR? Have a great day!
Yup, spent four glorious years in Germany - I hope to go back there one day!
Happy 7th WDC Anniversary! Can’t imagine WDC without you. *Hug1**hug**Hug2*
Awwww you're making me all mushy. *Hug1**hug**Hug2*
Six years you've been here? Wow. Maybe you'll stick around and write and review more! You should check out my non fiction contest in August or thereabouts... it's all about opinions. Like, lots of em *Smirk2*

Nice ta meet ya! I'm Whata *Bigsmile*

Yeah, bit of an old dog, I suppose *BigSmile*
I've done a lot of private reviews, here and outside WDC. I'm trying to spend my time brushing my novel up. It's been boiling away for a few years now. Let me know when the contest is up!
Added a short piece (1.1k words), which is an inspirational comedy about an army vet trying to get a new leg.
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Added a poem about the strangest and most enigmatic map of all, written for my local writers group.
"The Inconsistent Map